We discussed Young Earth Creationism in our last class. As most of you know, the Young Earth Creationist believes that the universe was created about 10,000 years ago and that all modern species (or kinds) were created simultaneously at that time. This view is compatible with the Genesis story in the Bible.
How is it possible for someone in the 21st century to ignore all the scientific evidence supporting an Earth that has been around for 4.5 billions years and an universe that is even older? We tried to come up with the most common ways that Young Earth Creationists can rationalize the obvious conflict.
The most obvious explanation is that they are completely unaware of the massive amount of scientific evidence that conflicts with their belief. In other words, they simply don't see a conflict between science and their religion because they have never been taught proper science. I suspect this is true of the vast majority of Young Earth Creationists.
But there's a subset of them who know the science. They have to come up with some sort of explanation that makes their position compatible with the findings of science. We identified two sorts of explanation that seem to apply.
1. Reject the scientific evidence as unreliable and try to discredit scientists. This path gives rise to talking points about the errors in carbon-14 dating and the fact that atheist scientists are blinded by their "religion."
2. Rely on faith and revelation as superior paths to knowledge. This means that the scientific "evidence" must be wrong even though the flaws aren't obvious. It must be wrong because it conflicts with God's word and there's no more reliable indicator of truth than the word of God.
(Sometimes the superiority of faith leads to the conclusion that God must have deliberately created an Earth with the illusion of age. It's not clear why God did this but we are not in a position to question God's wisdom in this matter.)
The BioLogos Foundation has, until recently, promoted theistic evolution. This worldview tends to accept scientific evidence as much as possible. Theistic Evolutionists, for example, are perfectly happy with a 4.5 billion year old Earth.
This emphasis on Theistic Evolution seems to be changing as Jerry Coyne points out in a recent article on his
Watch the video and see if you can figure out how a seemingly rational person can believe in something that is totally discredited by science.